September 1, 2016

How I realized I could just Say Goodbye & Move On.

Recently, I experienced the loss of a significant relationship and I am now left in a house that feels too empty, too quiet.

It makes my swirling thoughts and feelings sound loud and obnoxious.

Emotional pain is a lot like physical pain: it draws our focus. Just like blood will flow to an injured part of the body, energy gets sucked into an emotional wound and the entire psyche can get wrapped around that point of emotional disturbance. This is only helpful to the degree that we are made aware of our need for healing. After that, the constant throbbing of tortured thoughts begins to impede growth, acceptance and peace.

I struggled with this for several weeks after my ex left. I reached the point where I could barely touch the things he’d left behind, for fear of stirring up emotions that felt too big to handle.

But the other day, I finally dragged the vacuum cleaner out and begrudgingly began to tidy up my disheveled living space. However, the vacuum cleaner barely had any suction, because something was stuck in the hose. I fished out the obstruction: it was one of his guitar picks. I held it in my palm and stared at it for a moment, wondering how to feel and what to think. I paced around wondering what I could do with all of these little bits of him. Then something silly came into my mind: the part in the children’s book Good night Moon when the bunny says good night to everything in her room, even the bowl of mush on the nightstand. I realized I could just say goodbye and move on.

And from that realization came this poem.


I avoided cleaning.
I did it sparingly, just enough to pass
Because I feared I would disturb a memory,
a bit of him that was left behind.
So, I tiptoed around the mess every day,
afraid to touch something that would bring
a sharp pain to my heart.
Like a guitar pick jammed in the vacuum hose,
a hair from his beard on my pile of clean clothes,
an old pair of Chucks,
a note on the mailbox,
someone else’s socks in my drawer.
I could allow it all to sit and gather dust,
or I could ponder each artifact intently
and try to understand
what it meant, and why and how and
what was the point of dreaming that dream?
And what do I feel? Is it love, fear or grief?
Or I could simply let go.
I could just say goodbye.
Goodbye mailbox.
Goodbye socks.
Goodbye beard hair.
Goodbye Chucks gathering dust.
Goodbye guitar pick.
and goodbye heart prick.
Goodbye dream that I dreamed for a time.
I will clean my house.
I will not tiptoe.
And I won’t fear the truth: that I lost something great,
nor the feelings of grief,
nor the confusion of feeling love gradually die.
I will acknowledge it all
with gratitude and then with

Author: Jodie Hicknell 

Image: Instagram/@walkthetalkshow

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jodie Hicknell